Writing Sample – Interview

This is a sample of my work from a website that is no longer live. It was part of a series of around 40-50 interviews I did with Musicians from a wide range of musical genres.

Real Experts are an Electronic / Pop / Dance band from London. They are the self proclaimed ‘Saviours Of Pop. Forever searching for The Moment.’ To find out a little bit more about them heres an interview I did with the leader of said saviours Andrew James :

Tell us the brief history of your band. How did you meet? Where you got your name from?

It would have to be more than brief to do it justice, but essentially it started when I was 14 with my best friend at school and then a series of incarnations occurred from Fantasia, Energy+, The Answer, techNOIR and then finally (The) Real Experts. Various band members came and went but Real Experts was started by two of us from the original line up. We actually met at a New Year camp and swore one day to have a band.

The name comes from one of our favourite films we used to quote from all the time, The Tall Guy. In one of the funniest scenes, there’s a mad doctor who whilst trying to give an injection says, “They say the real experts do it without even looking…”

So the first album was always supposed to be Doing It Without Looking.

Who are your musical and non-musical influences? What inspires you to do what you do?

Historically, the musical influences are from the 80s and 90s…Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, New Order etc and then The Beloved played a major role once we became Real Experts.

The non-musical influence goes back to the start of the band where we were consumed by sci-fi films so there was an artistic futuristic backdrop to everything from the content of the lyrics to the imagery that I would do in my capacity as an artist.

The influences have changed over the years, where once it was classic tales of love and regret, it tends to be more about society now and voyeuristic observations. For example, ‘By Default’ is about tales from friends when internet dating.

What’s the worst/best things about being in a band?

The best thing is going from nothing to a finished recording of a song. During the process you detach yourself from a bit and by the end, sometimes you think, wow, did I really come up with that?

And performing live when you get a good reaction is a fulfillment that is hard to describe. When you don’t have to concentrate on what you’re doing and you just instinctively play with other band members, you can’t beat that really.

There’s no worst thing as such. Sometimes it’s just the logistical thing, like arranging rehearsals.

What are your dreams and goals as a band?

We’re not a band in the conventional sense, everything is driven by me. Ultimately my dream is the same as most people, I would love to have at least one hit single, have one of my songs randomly come on somewhere.

If one person out there, unprompted by me, has a moment where they hear one of my songs and it means something to them, my job is done. Whether they like it just because it sounds good to them or if it reminds them of something in a nostalgic sense.

Music is all about the moment. I want some time to have one of my songs do to them what music does to me.

Would you rather play in small venues or larger venues? Why?

You can never beat playing in a packed intimate venue. But I guess larger venues would be the sign of success so we’d gladly take that!

I’m quite obsessed with music and there’s so many things I can’t imagine doing without listening to it. How does music affect you in your day to day life?

Every single moment of every day there is music going on in my head. So it’s everything. I’m either listening and contemplating other bands, or, as it the case a lot these days, my mind is constantly creating songs, titles, hooks, choruses. It never ends. Quite often a whole song is written in my head as I’m doing something else, sometimes without me even realising.

So it’s an instinctive obsession. Sometimes it’s a curse. Every song I’ve ever liked never leaves my consciousness. To me, music from years ago is still current. Time is a very deceptive concept.

I have quite a few gig pet hates as I’m sure many people do. What is your favourite thing to see in the audience while you are on stage? What distracts you while you’re on stage?

Well, I like gigs where the lighting is good and you can’t really see the crowd, but you can sense them. It’s tricky because an audience generally won’t know the songs, so in our case, I want to know they are tapping their feet and appreciating that we are putting on some kind of show. I think that’s important, it’s supposed to be entertainment, not self-indulgence.

I wouldn’t say anything distracts me, other than maybe when it’s really hot!

If you had to listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?

Years ago, I would have said Pet Shop Boys, now I would say Hurts. Although really I should say our own music?! I actually listen to Real Experts all the time, as if they are someone else’s band! That is true!

Dream gig: who with? where? & why?

Ever since the start of the band, I wanted to play a gig in New York. There is a bar called The View, it’s up high above Times Square, in the clouds and skyscrapers, and revolves. If we could play ‘Dancing In Outer Space’ up there in front of a select crowd of our Twitter followers from around the world, I would die a happy man.